Over the past few weeks, people may have been noticing that the snippets - the descriptions that go with the website links in the search results - were apparently a lot longer than what was previously shown.
This is not an error on Google's part. Google has in fact increased the allowable number of characters from 160 to 300 so - according to Google - website owners can now give a more detailed description of their website in an effort to encourage people to click through to their site.
This has mainly been welcomed by the web design and marketing community as 160 characters has always been very limiting, forcing webmasters to abbreviate, shorten and use broken sentences to get their message across to people scanning the search results for what they actually searched for.
But like most things there are a small number of people claiming that this is bad and that their websites have now dropped in the ranking because of it.
So is there any truth in what these complainers are saying? Well the short answer is yes but there is a little more to it. Whenever Google change their algorithms there are always a group of people complaining, usually it's because the algorithm update targeted poor content or black hat SEO techniques.
I remember when the now infamous penguin and panda algorithm updates came out a few years ago, these updates did target poor content, link spam and black hat SEO techniques so 1000's of web sites that where using these questionable techniques dropped overnight, the sad truth was that many of the website owner didn't realise that there so called professional marketing company was use these techniques, the good news for genuine marketing companies was that a lot of these rogue marketing companies simple shut up shop because these where the only marketing techniques they knew.
On this occasion again it's the faults of the amateur 'have a go' marketing companies not keeping up with Google trends and updates and simple taking their clients money and burying their heads in the sand until everything comes crashing down around them
This latest update was first seen towards the end of December 2017 and had been rolled out across the world by the end of January 2018; webmaster received emails from Google and had ample warning so there was no excuse for missing this update.
If you already rank and get work from Google search then you should update the meta data across all of your pages to optimise them at around 300 characters before your lower ranking rivals update theirs and climb above you.